Big fish in Tampa Bay
It’s about that time of year again when you see a ton of boats following big fish in Tampa Bay. The Big school of black drum should be making their appearance at the Clam bar right off Pinellas point. I have to admit they are a fun fish to catch. The strength of the drum amazes me they are just a hardy strong fish and when they put their noses down you better hold on.
The weather has been a little windy so the cloudy water isn’t making it easy to spot the school. The best conditions would be a sunny day no cloud cover and crystal clear water! That copper cloud flows through the water and the reflection from the sun helps locate those fish from a good distance.
When you find them in the big school they pretty much eat anything you cast in front of them. I have caught drum on a shrimp. Live white bait, and artificials. My favorite artificial is the copper D.O.A. Cal flat tail jig. It swims nice and the weight of the jig head helps me cast exactly wear I need it to. If the fish aren’t on the surface you have a better chance of catching them if your bait sinks faster. You can try pole your way through without scaring off the fish. Probably best if you try that when there aren’t many boats around. They tend to feed in shallow water around the oyster bar. If you really want to have a good time you can always attempt to catch one of those monsters with a fly.
These aren’t little fish so eat your wheaties and be prepared to grab on once it’s by the boat. The bass that comes from the drum is incredible and pretty much puts my audio system to shame.
As fun as it is to hook a drum the only downside is having to deal with rude or ignorant boaters. Everyone can control their boat but no-one can control where the fish is going to swim.